Alameda County Bus Gets Magnetic Personality

Crews install magnets along highway to help special bus

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    berkeley.edu

    An experiment with magnetic steering in Alameda County is giving new meaning to the term "hands-free."

    Crews will embed magnets on a four-mile stretch of Highway 92 from Hesperian Boulevard to the San Mateo Bridge toll plaza over the next month.

    The magnets will transmit information to sensors on an Alameda County transit bus, making the steering wheel turn automatically when the road turns.

    The driver will still do the braking and accelerating, and can override if needed.

    Traffic reporter Mike Inouye said the change could be a good thing.

    "If this helps create consistency within the flow of traffic, or at least reduces erratic changes in lanes or speeds, then it has a good chance of helping traffic flow overall," said Inouye. "With magnets that strong people may want to be careful about using their credit cards to pay for their bus pass though."

    AC Transit officials said the magnetic change could someday reduce human error.